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Blur frontman and British pop maverick join line-up for Deloitte Ignite 2012

Special guests Damon Albarn and Martina Topley Bird to join performance in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

31 July 2012 at 10.00am | Comment on this article

On Friday 31 August special guests Damon Albarn and Martina Topley Bird will join an evening of Afrobeat in the Linbury Studio Theatre as part of Deloitte Ignite 2012, a free three-day festival of all things African.

Afrobeat has had a wide influence on contemporary music. An exuberant fusion of jazz, funk and traditional Nigerian music, it blends chanted vocals and percussion with complex rhythms.

Listen to the sounds of Afrobeat:

The concert will be led by legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen and the Niaja Centric Orchestra. Allen, co-founder of Afrobeat, previously collaborated with Albarn in 2008, when they produced funk album Rocket Juice and the Moon with Michael Balzary (Flea), the bassist of Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Albarn, lead singer of Britpop sensation Blur and one half of virtual-band Gorillaz, is currently at the forefront of the music scene. His opera Dr Dee recently premiered at the English National Opera, and on 12 August he will perform with Blur at a special celebration concert to mark the Olympics Closing Ceremony.

Deloitte Ignite 2012 is designed to celebrate avant-garde arts and Africa’s influence on contemporary culture.

Curated by award-winning artist Yinka Shonibare, who recently sculpted the Globe Head Ballerina that adorns the outer wall of the Royal Opera House, the weekend will include free music, dance and workshops as well as a club night with Radio 1Xtra DJ, DJ Edu.

Find out more about what’s on over the weekend.

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